Dubai drone photographer teases “more touching” video

Nick Watkins
Apr 15, 2020

A new “more touching” Dubai drone video is coming our way, from the man who captured the city’s streets like never before.

Photographer and drone operator Bachir Moukarzel’s video of Dubai’s deserted roads has chalked up over a million views and shared over 40,000 times around the world in less than a week, and he’s since filmed a follow up video, which is set to be even bigger.

The Lockdown – Dubai

Never in my life would we have ever thought to see the Sheikh Zayed road with no cars, Dubai mall with no people, roads empty, and attractions free of tourists.But it is also great to see everyone committed to staying home, for the sake of everyone we love. It is just a matter of time and Dubai will be back to normal, the whole world will be back to normal.Gimbal OP Highsam El Achkarhttps://www.instagram.com/bachir_photo_phactory/

Posted by Bachir Photo Phactory on Tuesday, April 7, 2020

“There is more footage coming out,” Moukarzel told World Traveller Middle East. “It’s more touching than the first video because we shot it during the daytime and it’ll really speak to the people of Dubai as they know the locations that I’ve filmed at, which are usually very busy with people and now there is no one.”

Since posting the Dubai drone video online, Moukarzel’s Instagram following has increased by nearly 10,000 followers in less than a week. Yet despite the video’s success, he’s unsure if it’s his best piece of work. “I did a viral photograph before and actually won an award,” he says with a pause. “It was voted the best urban photo at the International Drone Awards 2017, and also went viral.”

Dubai residents are currently staying home, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, and can only go outside for essentials, meaning the city’s streets are quieter than ever.

Empty streets in the Dubai drone video

Moukarzel was commissioned by DubaiTV to produce the Dubai drone video, which required government approval and assistance of the authorities. “When the outbreak started I pitched the idea to Dubai Media Office, who is a client of mine, and I said that if they could help get me the access with a police car I could film this video for them. It took around seven days to film.” The Lebanese national, along with his gimbal operator, Haytham Achkar, were under strict instructions to wear gloves and a face mask, as well as carrying hand sanitizer at all times during filming.

Palm Jumeirah from above

Photography has been a hobby of Moukarzel’s since moving to Dubai from Lebanon in 2002, to study finance at American University Dubai, and has seen him capture stunning aerial images around the world including in the Philippines, Italy and Nepal. The self-trained drone pilot is now commissioned by a number of clients to produce aerial imagery and photography. “I learned it all by myself and it’s gotten easier over time. Operating a drone isn’t hard but the one I use requires two people.”

Current restrictions in Dubai have meant that offices are closed and people are working from home, which has given Moukarzel more time off from his day job as a finance director, to focus on his photography.

Drone photo of the Philippines

As fans wait for the second deserted Dubai drone video to be released, Moukarzel is already planning his next trip for when travel restrictions are lifted. “I’m planning on filming in Iceland,” he tells us it’ll make for some incredible footage.”

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